My father passed away November 13. Still reeling from the shock and disbelief, I have been unable to write about it until today. The last day of 2009 seems like the appropriate moment.
He was extremely generous, and my mind keeps wandering back to the day he presented me with my Selmer Mark VII tenor and alto saxophones. I was a senior in high school, and had always played on rentals (a Yamaha tenor) or an older instrument borrowed from a family member (an alto Buescher Tru-Tone). My Dad was a very busy man, and traveled extensively for his company, which meant he missed most of my concerts and performances. Last year at Thanksgiving, while visiting in Vermont, he remarked that he'd never heard me play. I took out the tenor he gave me, and played for him. Looking up as I finished I saw tears in his eyes. I asked him why he was crying. He replied that he felt terrible he had never heard me play before and told me he thought I was really good. "It doesn't matter Dad, you heard me now."
I wanted to play for him one last time, and my husband was kind enough to realize I wasn't crazy when I asked him to drive my Selmer Tenor across Canada for 2 days so I could play "A Closer Walk With Thee" at his funeral.
From now on, every time I play, I know he can hear me.